Hyderabad, Charminar Square and its surroundings • India, Telangana

Explore the heart of Hyderabad in under 7 minutes! Our video takes you on a journey around the iconic Charminar Square, through bustling markets, and along the historic streets nearby. Discover the architectural marvels and the rich cultural tapestry of Telangana, accompanied by insightful historical explanations on our page. Don't miss this engaging opportunity to uncover the heritage of Hyderabad from the comfort of your home. Dive into the past and present of this vibrant city with us.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Unknown India • Ladakh, Karnataka, Telangana in 2022

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Telangana, a state in south central India in India. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.
Chapters: 

00:35 • a cow with 5 legs?

01:15 • Charminar Square

04:15 • the streets around the square

 

History of Charminar Square 

 

Charminar Square in Hyderabad in the Indian state of Telangana is the most iconic spot in the city. 

The city of Hyderabad was founded in 1591 by the fifth sultan of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah and Charminar Square was laid out during the construction of the city. The square was designed before the creation of the city to commemorate a tragic plague epidemic that ravaged the Sultanate of Colgonda the same year. 

Charminar means 'four minarets'. 

Without this being irrefutably proven historically, it seems that the sultan himself drew up the plans for the monument in Charminar Square. If this is the case, he was certainly assisted by his architects to carry out the calculations necessary for the permanent construction of such a monument. The sultan was also a recognized poet and he considered the construction of this monument as a poetic work above all. 

 

the monument in Charminar Square 

 

In the center of Charminar Square sits a magnificent building that has become the emblem of the city of Hyderabad. Although this monument is flanked by 4 minarets approximately 56 meters high (hence the name of the building and the eponymous square) and each of them is crowned with a dome, the monument of the square Charminar has never been officially consecrated as a mosque, although worshipers occasionally gather there for prayer. 

The building is considered a memorial to celebrate the end of the plague epidemic that ravaged the region at the end of the 16th century and has never had a religious purpose, despite its typical Islamic architecture. 

The monument is built on a platform supported by 4 columns about twenty meters high, connected by arches. These columns are integrated into the minarets. The 4 minarets were originally decorated with complex geometric patterns and Arabic calligraphic characters, in a pure Muslim style, but nowadays these decorations are no longer visible, probably lost during one of the many restorations that the building has undergone. building over the centuries. 

The domes are supported by a teak wood frame probably from the city of Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh.

 

Economic activities around Charminar Square 

 

Charminar Square is not only the iconic center of the city of Hyderabad, but it is also its economic hub. 

Since its creation in 1591, several markets and bazaars have settled around the square. If the markets interest tourists, they are mainly there to meet the needs of the local population. You can find everything there, jewelry, clothes, perfumes, spices, books and souvenirs among others, without of course forgetting foodstuffs. 

Among the most prominent bazaars around Charminar Square include the Laad Bazaar known for its jewelry and wedding accessories. 

If you are looking for traditional Indian clothing, the Pathergatti is ideal. The Begum Bazaar is the biggest fruit and vegetable market in the city and the big spice market is the Monda Market. 

In addition to markets and bazaars, there are many restaurants near the square. They serve the great specialty of the city, the byriani, a rice dish made with meat and spices.

about the place, Hyderabad:

Founded by Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591, Hyderabad owes its name to the Sultan's wife, Princess Bhagyanagar, who took the name Hyder Mahal when she converted to Islam. 

Hyderabad is famous for its pearl and diamond industry and its nickname is "the city of pearls". 

Successive dynasties in the Sultanate of Golconda (the name of the hill where many diamonds were mined) were great patrons and left remarkable monuments to the city, including the famous Charminar monument. They also enlarged and heavily embellished the fort at Golconda. 

The city is also famous for the excellence of its biryani. Another of its nicknames is "the capital of biryani".

Charminar monument, Hyderabad, Telangana • India

What's the weather like in Hyderabad?

Spoken comments in the film: 

You can see all kinds of things around Charminar Square, an emblematic place in the city of Hyderabad in India. In addition to the many lively markets that are the soul of the neighborhood, you can sometimes come across a sadhu walking with a 5-legged cow... In India, like everywhere else, cows have 4 legs, and here as elsewhere,  sometimes there are congenital malformations giving rise to a growth that can be mistaken for an extra leg. A godsend for this sadhu, who can boast of the blessing of the goddess Kamadhenu, the mother of all cattle in India.

 

Charminar Square and the monument that gives it its name were created when Hyderabad was founded in 1591. Charminar means '4 minarets'. The monument flanked by these 4 minarets was built to commemorate the end of a plague epidemic, and although it strangely resembles a mosque, it was never consecrated as such. This square is certainly the most famous place in the capital of Telangana. It is the sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, founder of the city, who would have drawn the plans of this building and the place where it is built.

 

If Charminar Square is very lively and welcomes merchants of all kinds, the surrounding streets are not left out. Many bazaars have settled there since the creation of the city. Among these typical markets, there is one that specializes in jewelry and wedding accessories, another in clothes and shoes and there are of course markets for spices and other food products.

the bazaar specializing in traditional clothing, Hyderabad • India • Telangana

the bazaar specializing in traditional clothing

the Charminar monument in the center of the square, Hyderabad • India • Telangana

the Charminar monument in the center of the square

a cow with 5 legs?, Hyderabad • India • Telangana

a cow with 5 legs?

a street adjacent to Charminar Square, Hyderabad • India • Telangana

a street adjacent to Charminar Square

Hyderabad • India, Telangana

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